The one thing about yesterday’s Super Bowl that bugs me …

Malcolm Butler during his West Alabama days
Malcolm Butler during his West Alabama days

Yes, Pete Carroll brought forth a boneheaded final play.

Yes, Bill Belichick should have called some timeouts in the final minute.

Yes, I can’t believe there’s a world of people who haven’t heard of Missy Elliott.

But, as I drove my car today, my brain kept returning to one thought: How wasn’t Malcolm Butler the MVP of Super Bowl XLIX?

I know … I know. Tom Brady had a great game. Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes. Tom Brady stepped up when the Patriots needed someone to step up. I get it. But Butler won the damn game. With one great, breathtaking play, he prevented the Seattle Seahawks from repeating as champions. It was his perfect break, his willingness to get physical at the goalline, his ability to recognize the slant … that handed New England (and Brady) the triumph.

But, for a moment, forget that. Let’s just talk humanity. Over the course of his Hall of Fame-worthy career, Tom Brady has won everything. MVP trophies. Super Bowl MVP trophies. Four titles. He’s married to one of the most famous models in the world. He’s been on the covers of countless magazines. He’s earned millions upon millions of dollars. For Brady, the MVP award—and the accompanying truck—is nice and fine and dandy.

For Butler, well, it would have meant everything. Did you see the guy weeping after the game? He’s a free agent nobody from Division II West Alabama—a college 97 percent of us didn’t know existed until yesterday evening. He spent time at Hinds Community College (a college 99.9 percent of us didn’t know existed until yesterday evening), but was kicked off the team for, reportedly, some drug issue. He then got a job at Popeye’s. Hell, read the whole story from Bruce Feldman. It’s remarkable.

Imagine Malcolm Butler as Super Bowl MVP? The joy? The emotion? The pride? It’d stand as a wonderful moment for decades to come.

Instead, it was presented to Tom Brady.

Who surely won’t keep the truck.